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Fall Season US Employment-Based Immigration Updates

The fall season brings two significant updates for US employment-based immigration: (1) the implementation of the next phase of premium processing expansion and (2) a significant retrogression of certain immigrant visa categories. Next Phase of Premium Processing Expansion On September 15, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the implementation of the third phase … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration: adjusted right to work checks extended again and the introduction of Identification Document Validation Technology

In March 2020, the Home Office introduced a concession allowing employers to carry out adjusted right to work checks by viewing scanned copies of passports/visas and video calls for employees working remotely rather than the usual requirement to check original documentation.   That was originally due to end in summer last year but was extended until … Continue Reading

Time To Play the Numbers:  H-1B Cap Registration Returns on March 1st (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap will open at noon EDT on March 1, 2022  and run through noon EDT on March 18, 2022.  This occurs one week earlier than last year. This registration process will not apply to H-1B transfers (between employers) or extensions of status applications.  It will only impact new H-1B visas subject to … Continue Reading

Coming home for the holidays? COVID Testing Requirements for Air Travelers Reduced to One Day Prior to Departure (US)

In response to the global spread of the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened the timeline for the pre-departure COVID testing requirement to one day applicable to in-bound travelers to the United States. Per the CDC announcement, effective on or after 12:01 am EST on December 6, 2021, “all air … Continue Reading

Just When I Thought I was Out: Omicron Variant and the Return of Regional COVID-19 Travel Bans

Following its November 8, 2021 move to remove and replace all regional COVID-19 Travel bans with a blanket vaccination requirement, the Biden administration announced a new COVID-19 travel ban on those seeking to enter the U.S. from various African nations.  The new Proclamation bars most non-U.S. citizens who have been physically present in the following … Continue Reading

Major Changes Implemented in Employment Authorization Procedures for Spouses of H, E and L Visa Holders (US)

On November 12, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued new policies conferring the benefit of automatic extension of employment authorization for certain H-4, E, and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses.  This significant shift in policy comes on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) settlement in Shergill et al v. Mayorkas, … Continue Reading

U.S. Presidential Proclamation Issued Rescinding and Replacing Geographic COVID-19 Travel Bans

On October 25, 2021, the White House announced the President’s new Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new travel Proclamation will take effect on November 8, 2021, and will replace the geographic COVID-19 travel bans with proof of vaccination requirements for all nonimmigrant travelers seeking to enter … Continue Reading

Update Regarding US COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

As we previously posted last month, the United States is rescinding and replacing the geographic COVID-19 travel bans with new proof of vaccination requirements for all international travelers. These new requirements will pertain to those entering the U.S. via air, sea or across the land border with Canada or Mexico. As reported by numerous news … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Travel Bans To Be Rescinded and Replaced with Vaccination Requirements (US)

After much anticipation, the White House announced plans to rescind the geographic COVID-19 travel bans and modify restrictions on all international travelers to focus on proof of vaccination. In place of the travel bans and beginning in early November, international travelers will be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Become Mandatory for Most Green Card Applicants (US)

According to a new policy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective October 1, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is included on the list of vaccines required for applicants to obtain lawful permanent residence (aka “green card”). Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii), foreign nationals to be found admissible … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of May 24, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of May 24, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

President Biden Issues Proclamation Adding India to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (US)

On April 30, 2021, the President issued another Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of nonimmigrants and noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. These restrictions take effect at 12:01 am EDT on May 4, 2021 and remain in … Continue Reading

President Biden Removes Immigrant Visa Ban, Leaves Other Immigration Bans in Place (US)

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, President Biden issued a Proclamation removing one of the few remaining major Trump COVID-era Visa Bans. The move repeals Presidential Proclamation 10014, which was set to expire after March 31, 2021, and temporarily paused the issuance of immigrant visas.  President Biden justified the action by explaining that the ban “harms … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Season Opens March 9: Random Cap Registration Selection Returns For FY2022 (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25, 2021.  USCIS intends to notify selected registrants by March 31st and permit filings from April 1, 2021.… Continue Reading

President Signs Three Executive Orders Seeking Broad Changes to US Immigration Policies; Administration Delays Changes to H-1B Cap Lottery

The following is a summary of the President’s three new immigration-related executive orders issued on February 2, 2021: Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families The first executive order creates an interagency task force, presided by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to reunify parents and children separated by … Continue Reading

Biden Immigration Activity on Day One: Taking Down the Walls (US)

With the stroke of a pen, President Biden immediately commenced the deconstruction of the Southern Border wall and several other immigration policies of the prior administration, including the pre-Covid travel bans. Here is a summary of the President’s immigration-related executive actions issued during his first days in office. Revoking the Pre-Covid Travel Bans Entitled Presidential … Continue Reading

DHS Doubles Down On H-1Bs: Publishes Rule Implementing Wage-Based Changes to the Annual H-1B Lottery (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Final Rule, which, if left intact, will implement major changes to the H-1B visa program. The new rule would do away with the random lottery system currently used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B visas and replace it with a selection system weighted to … Continue Reading

President Trump Extends his Visa “Pause” Through March 2021 (US)

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 have been extended through March 31, 2021.  The two proclamations, which suspend U.S. entry and visa issuance for many immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants outside the U.S., were set to end after December 31, 2020.  Possible extensions were the subject of internal deliberations at the White House leading up to … Continue Reading

Feeling Lucky?: DHS Proposes Wage-Based Changes to its Annual H-1B Lottery (US)

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced another proposed change to the H-1B visa program.  The new rule would do away with the random lottery system currently used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 H-1B visas and replace it with a new lottery system weighted to favor applications with … Continue Reading

US Immigration Update: Must Be the Season of the Witch

It’s been a frenetic October and we’re still in the first week. Here is a quick summary of significant developments in U.S. Immigration just within the past few days. Federal District Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Halting Implementation of Nonimmigrant Visa Ban On October 1, 2020 Judge Jeffrey S. White of the District Court for the … Continue Reading

DHS Finalizes a New Fee Schedule to Take Effect on October 2, 2020 (US)

The Final Rule   A final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020, which considerably increases USCIS’ fees and makes other changes to immigration benefits. DHS originally announced a proposed rule in November 2019; however, the final rule differs in certain aspects from the original proposal. Under the final rule, the fee … Continue Reading

Unpacking National Interest Exception Requirements to Recent Presidential Proclamations Suspending Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants: Hoops and Hurdles Remain (US)

On August 12, 2020, the U.S. State Department issued new guidance (“State Department Guidance”) on parameters for National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 10052. As our previous post outlined, Proclamation 10052 suspended U.S. entry for certain nonimmigrants on H-1B (specialty occupation), H-2B (temporary workers), L-1 (intracompany transferees), and J-1 (exchange visitors participating in the intern, … Continue Reading

Executive Order Sets Stage for Restrictions on Government Contractor Visas and Offshoring (US)

On August 3, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers” hereafter “Executive Order”) calling for a broad review of the government’s use of visa holders and outsourcing across its extensive government contracting networks. The White House announced that the Executive Order is, at … Continue Reading

An Extended Pause: New Presidential Proclamation Halts US Entry for Thousands of Workers

As expected, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation (“Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” hereafter “Nonimmigrant Proclamation”) extending the duration of his prior suspension of immigrant visas (for those entering the U.S. permanently) and … Continue Reading
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